The Only Good Title Is A Media Title

Titles maybe for wimps but when it comes to attending an industry trade show, the best title to have is a media title. This is because media receives special treatment. Not only do we not have to pay to attend the show (depending on the show, that can be a huge saving) but many shows will have media only rooms with computers, drinks and snacks. Some shows even have media buses to take the media from their hotel to the show floor.

I became aware of the important of the media title during the Vancouver Comdex back in 2000. Back then Futurelooks.com was trying to be the next big thing on the Internet and all their people, including Stephen Fung, had fancy titles like “Chief Visionary Officer” and “Director of New Business Development for Asia Pacific, the Pacific Rim and Canada.” I think Stephen’s title was Chief Operations Officer but I’m sure they added some other fancy words in between the COO to make it sound even fancier.

The only problem with all those fancy titles is the media center at Comdex didn’t care for them and refused to let them enter the media room because their title indicates that they were not members of the press. Stephen tried to explain that Futurelooks is a media outlet and they all write for it so they should be let in. Comdex replied that they didn’t care if he was Bill Gates, only editors get media passes and enter the media room. In the end, only the Futurelooks Editor In Chief got a media pass. The CEO, COO, CIO and whatever other letters had to get normal show floor passes. I enjoyed the free lunch in the media room with the single Futurelooks editor and we laughed at the other Futurelooks members who had to buy their lunches. Since that day, everyone at Futurelooks has a media title.

Just Because You’re a Blog Doesn’t Mean You’re Media

Now, before you starting thinking, “Cool! I can get into any trade show for free!” Trade shows are not dumb. Just because you have a blog doesn’t make you media. As a matter of fact, there are some shows that won’t allow blogs no matter how big they are.

Like the exhibitors on the floor, the trade show is looking for a ROI on the free passes they give out. A conference pass to the Affiliate Summit West cost $949. The ASW would like to receive back $949 of press coverage for every free media pass they give out. This all comes back to my old post call Big Site Rules, Small Sites Drool. It’s a lot easier to get free stuff when you’re big.


36 thoughts on “The Only Good Title Is A Media Title”

  1. A good media title would be that of TMZ. Those guys can get into everything. Kinda scary.

    1. Mike says:

      I prefer the title, Michael McKinlay Esquire.. It makes me sound all fancy like! Don’t you think?

  2. Etienne Teo says:

    Hell yeah, you are both big online and offline. I guess having the right title entitles you to the right events and places.

  3. Jamie Harrop says:

    As a moderator and blogger over at the WebHostingTalk.com forums, I was able to get a media pass for HostingCon. We didn’t enjoy many benefits, but I certainly wasn’t complaining about the free pass. 😀

    1. Oh well you are definitively a lucky guy 😛

  4. The allure of free stuff. I wonder who gets the best free stuff out there. Movie critics get free movie screenings, lots of big bloggers (John didn’t you say this happens to you) get free books. Tech magazines get to review cool computers and electronics, do they ever get to keep them? The guys on the Car Talk radio show sometimes talk about the cars they get for free to test for a few weeks. One of them even had a funny story about flooring a Bentley and it got to 100 so fast, he said he looked in the rear view mirror and saw Chewbacca.

  5. Shawn Knight says:

    I learned about this first hand at CES last year. It was our first year and I wasn’t even aware that there was a press room. Even better, they had some nice freebies and free food, score!

    1. Mike says:

      freebies rock!

  6. MoneyNing says:

    I think car magazines are the best since they are paid to test drive cars not in production and super cars that no one will ever be able to buy.

    The stuff that everyone else gets is only $$$ which can be earned/bought easily.

  7. Domtan says:

    Why didn’t you put Media title for the Mini Massive event?

    1. John Chow says:

      Because it was mini.

  8. DG says:

    You can get free magazine subscriptions (or at least 6 month subscriptions) by calling their advertising department and inquiring about their subscriber base, ad rates, etc. then asking for samples of their publication to see if it fits the profile you are looking for.

    You can also get a copy of every software product Microsoft makes (but for non-production use only) by joining their “Empower ISV” program for $500 then promising to ship a new product based on MS technology within the next 12 months. If you don’t ship the product they have the right to ask you to return the software, but they don’t.

  9. James Wilcox says:

    TradePub offers free magazine subscriptions to industry professionals. I got a free subscription to Trader Monthly since I am a stock trader for TheProficientInvestor.com. I love free stuff

  10. Gasmoney says:

    certainly something to aim for. Small sites drool … lol funny.

  11. Gasmoney says:

    when ever your big you get stuff for free. thats a given. 😈

  12. Allyn Paul says:

    I know a sports blogger who gets press passes to all USC games. His entire site is filled with closeup pics the cheerleaders. LOL
    Lucky dude.

    1. Matt L says:

      As a fellow sports blogger, I’d love to talk to him.. Can you send me his link?

  13. Mike Huang says:

    Great post John. Seems like titles are important afterall.

    -Mike

  14. Neil Duckett says:

    Essentially … the rich get richer, bring it on.

  15. Stephen says:

    Actually, I got my way at any show as COO of Futurelooks and enjoyed lunch just the same. I never paid for lunch at ANY COMDEX (or CES for that matter) so I don’t know where you got that. You were probably thinking Vancouver COMDEX, before Futurelooks existed, and we all registered as regular folks. It wasn’t difficult moving forward because I showed them that I walked and talked the role with bylined articles. As a result, they were forced to give me my press badge and badges for anyone I wanted to have one on my team.

    Title only gets you in the door. It’s up to you to keep yourself there.

    1. John Chow says:

      Read the post. The story was about Comdex Vancouver! Only Jason got in to the media room. You and the rest of the FL boys had to main like the common folks. 😈

      1. Stephen says:

        Umm… Clark wasn’t onboard yet, and FL didn’t exist when I met you at sucky COMDEX Van. We didn’t even have a site! It was only me, G and Hogg. We didn’t even have Kinisky with us 😆

        Memory is the first thing to go! 😈

  16. Chad says:

    ASW was nice enough to comp me a free pass to the conference. But I plan on doing some extensive posts about the event. So like you say, they should get some ROI for it.

  17. Gary Lee says:

    what constitutes a big blog? and a small blog?

    1. Hmmm… I think if you get more than 10,000 unique visitors, you can call yourself a big blog, anything under would have to be considered small or medium…

    2. Etienne Teo says:

      a big blog is constantly talked about by people, either they love it or hate it. They will just be talking and gossiping on what you have done. Like a celebrity.

  18. 45n5 says:

    I’ll be blogging the conference also and look forward to meeting chad, john, and the other bloggers there in February!

  19. You’re right about the only title that gets all the nods is the media title. Everyone wants to keep the media happy because all publicity is good publicity right?

  20. So, you really need two titles. One that you showcased yesterday and one that you have today. One starts off conversations and the other gets you freebies!

  21. bloggernoob says:

    general rule of thumb is. if you paid full price you’re a sucker. It has to either be free or with a deep discount.

    1. bmunch says:

      I agree. One way or the other there has to be a way to get into these trade show for free. Even without titles, you can also know the right people and leverage your influence.

      Everyone has a price. Nobody wants to pay it. 👿

  22. Andy says:

    Bloggers or journalists should use 2 different titles. One for human and another for crawl. And it’s essential because it’s 2 types of audience.

  23. I always wonder what title I should use on badges. CEO sounds stuffy :). It’s tough to get into a blogging event as media though, for sure. Much easier to get into a general internet marketing event as media. But if your blog doesn’t cover the industry, I don’t think it matters how big it is, it isn’t going to be viewed as media.

  24. Yeah, and CEO of a one person company sends alarm bells to me that this person is OVERsellling…

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